The three Sonatas for Viola and Piano by Paul Hindemith highlight three important points in his stylistic development as a composer, from post-Romantic wunderkind through his moment as Germany’s musical enfant terrible, to his carefully crafted mature style. Spanning the period between the two World Wars, these three sonatas showcase the viola, Hindemith’s own main performance instrument during this time, as well as the piano, with colorful and virtuosic writing for both. While Hindemith’s project, begun in the late 1930s, of writing sonatas for each of the orchestral instruments is well known, his earlier work with sonatas for string instruments and piano shows him thoroughly engaged in the duo-sonata medium throughout his career.
Geraldine Walther, violist of the Takacs Quartet since 2005, plays 80 concerts worldwide annually. Born in Florida, Walther first picked up the viola in a public school music program in Tampa. She went on to study at the Manhattan School with Lillian Fuchs and at the Curtis Institute with Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet. In 1979, she won first prize at the William Primrose International Competition. She was the Principal Violist of the San Francisco Symphony for 29 years, having previously served as assistant principal of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and Miami Philharmonic. With the San Francisco Symphony, Walther performed concertos by Mozart, Telemann, Berlioz, Hindemith, Martinu, Walton, Henze, Bartók, Schnittke, Penderecki, William Schuman, and others. She also premiered important works with the Orchestra by composers including Takemitsu, Lieberson and Benjamin. In 1995, Walther was selected by Sir Georg Solti for his Musicians of the World to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. In 2011, she was awarded the Order of Merit Officer’s Cross of the Republic of Hungary. As a member of Takacs, she was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Award in the Chamber Music and Song category. In 2012, the Quartet was inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame and is currently Associate Artists of the Wigmore Hall in London. Walther has participated in numerous chamber music festivals, including Marlboro, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, Bridgehampton, Cape Cod, Amelia Island, Telluride, Seattle and Green Music Festivals, and Music@ Menlo. She has collaborated with such artists as Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman and Jaime Laredo, and has appeared as a guest artist with the Tokyo, Vermeer, Guarneri, Lindsay, Cypress and St. Lawrence string quartets. In addition to her recordings for Hyperion with the Takacs Quartet, Walther’s recordings include Hindemith’s Trauermusik and Der Schwanendreher with the San Francisco Symphony (London/Decca), Paul Chihara’s Golden Slumbers with the San Francisco Chamber Singers (Albany), Lou Harrisons Threnody (New Albion), Delectable Pieces as a member of the Volkert Trio (Con Brio), and Brahms Sonatas and True Divided Light: Chamber Music by David Carlson (MSR Classics). Geraldine is an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Colorado Boulder.
David Korevaar performs an extensive repertoire as a soloist and chamber musician, and has been a guest artist with internationally acclaimed orchestras and ensembles. Korevaar is the Peter and Helen Weil Professor of Piano at the University of Colorado Boulder, and a member of the Clavier Trio, currently Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Texas in Dallas. He is a regular participant as performer and teacher at Colorado’s Music in the Mountains summer festival and the Music Center Japan. Korevaar earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, studying piano with the Earl Wild and composition with David Diamond.